Greg Wilson pointed out an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education about scientists using Photoshop to manipulate the graphs of their results. The article has this to say about The Journal of Cell Biology.
So far the journal’s editors have identified 250 papers with questionable figures. Out of those, 25 were rejected because the editors determined the alterations affected the data’s interpretation.
This immediately raises suspicions of fraud which is, of course. However, I’m more concerned about carelessness than fraud. As Goethe once said,
… misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.
Even if researchers had innocent motivations for manipulating their graphs, they’ve made it impossible for someone else to reproduce their results and have cast doubts on their integrity.